Bigdog Karma

Downtime deviants
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Joey_1990
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Bigdog Karma

Post by Joey_1990 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:39 pm

Hi everyone

Anyone paddle one? What are you thoughts?

Joe

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Pete C.
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Location: Chester

Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by Pete C. » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:50 pm

I haven't paddled one yet, so can't really comment on that. The only production boat I've seen on the water was as this year's Nottingham squirt gathering, which was its first trip out on moving water. It looked fun, but unfortunately it split open at the front from tapping something or other within the first five minutes on the course. I'm pretty sure Big Dog must have sorted it out as a warranty..?

If they change how they do the seams then it might be worth a look - anyone know any more details?

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tomdowns
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Location: Devon and N.Wales

Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by tomdowns » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:58 pm

A big dog boat, breaking? I don't believe it

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David Hepworth
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Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by David Hepworth » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:46 pm

I paddled one earlier this year, was cut way too big for the lad using it and even for me and I am no lightweight, the lad told me they would not cut it anymore as it was fine for him, was more like a slalom boat on him than a squirt boat. It handled fairly well on both ends ans was smooth in transition but way too big for me to sink.

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Tom_Laws
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Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by Tom_Laws » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:38 am

tomdowns wrote:A big dog boat, breaking? I don't believe it
Must have been the ironic name?

zachy89
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:32 am

Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by zachy89 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:44 am

I have only ever paddled a few squirt boats but I was able to paddle Big Dog's demo ( I think it was Josh Goslings personal boat - blue with red flowers. I'm sure he will post on here about the Karma as he designed it with Jason Buxton)

I loved the Karma, the most comfy squirt boat I have paddled. I have tried the Hellbender, some plastic squirt boat and also the Asylum. I am about 75kg so slightly larger than boat was cut for, but super smooth on the ends and really easy to throw around. In getting downtime it went down really well, I have seen some other people in much longer boats not getting much more time down than I did.

Build quality wise, I'm sure these boats are made by the same guys who make Valley Sea and Surf boats which is regarded as some of the best on the market. The one I paddled and also the larger demo felt really well built.

Also I think Ben Aldred won the Europeans last year paddling a Big Dog Karma...

I found the guys at Big Dog really helpful. They have two demos one cut for around 70kg and the other for around 90kg. Give them a shout to try one out, its the only way you will ever know if you like it. You don't paddle with eyes :-P

I just need to save up enough money now to buy one...

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Pete C.
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Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by Pete C. » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:12 pm

zachy89 wrote:Build quality wise, I'm sure these boats are made by the same guys who make Valley Sea and Surf boats which is regarded as some of the best on the market. The one I paddled and also the larger demo felt really well built.
Jason's old squirt boats were really well done too, but the boat I saw - which someone had paid a lot of money for - had skinny slalom seam tape and no endpour, and a big crack on its first time out. I'd have been fuming. I had to lend the poor chap my Bigfoot for the rest of the session...

If they get that sorted out and use proper external seams (like the really cool pinstripe seams Jason used to do on his boats) then great. I'd love to see the range fleshed out a bit with some longer, sinkier boats too...

zachy89
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:32 am

Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by zachy89 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:06 pm

If they get that sorted out and use proper external seams (like the really cool pinstripe seams Jason used to do on his boats) then great. I'd love to see the range fleshed out a bit with some longer, sinkier boats too...
Should we not be supporting Big Dog as they try to save the UK and European Squirt community? It looks like in recent years it became harder and harder to get squirt boats from Downtime. People paid money then waiting 6+ months for their boats, this was not good. The guy that ran downtime is regarded as a great guy but really from the outside he killed the UK squirt scene...

We should all be buying british and supporting Big Dog, maybe even talking to them about developing new squirt boats. As they have made the Karma out of love for the sport and not for business reasons. They are never going to sell enough to pay for the time and their money put into the project, but they did it for the love.

I have only recently starting trying squirt boating and in my experience they guys at Big Dog have been really great to me. If people want to go and spend 2 or 3 times more for their boat and get it shipped over from the states then great and hope it doesn't get broken in transit then great, but I will be buying a Big Dog when I save enough money and supporting a British Company.

Maybe I will try one of their other boats out at the NSR as my own Mamba is getting pretty tired.... Too many boats I could spend money on...

Also Pete C, I think there is a mistake in your FAQs: Getting into squirt boating - What if I want the latest models? I believe you have missed out the Big Dog Karma as it was only designed recently, unlike most of the designed produced by PS Composites and Murky Waters. I think it is only right if we are going to support a British company trying to save the squirt scene that Big Dog needs to be in there. As you are able to order a Big Dog Karma in any canoe shop in the UK that stocks Big Dog....

JoshGosling
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Re: Bigdog Karma

Post by JoshGosling » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:05 am

Hi,

Just got the heads up from Pete C that we have a new forum, this is wicked! Very glad it has been with UKRGB as well making squirt boating even more open to the UK paddlers. Thanks Pete for letting me know.

Joey_1990 - Where are you based? How much do you weigh? How tall are you?

Like it has been mentioned perviously on this thread we have two demos for people to try. One is cut for me at about 70ish KG and the other about 90ish KG. When we were developing the Karma we wanted to make it slightly shorter than the boats around at the time. With the squirt competitions at the moment being held in places that are quite shallow in the eddys we wanted to make a boat that could cope with that. We wanted to also make a boat that was great at downtime too, so the hull of the Karma is very old school, really nice smooth edges perfect for mystery moves.

So the people involved with Big Dog and mainly the Karma have a lot of experience with composite boat manufacturing. Jason Buxton who used to produce the Valley squirt boats and then Downtime before selling it to Dave, who learnt how to make his boats from Jason. Peter Orton who has produced a wide range of composite boats from slalom boats, polo boats, sea and surf boats over the past 20 years. Also myself I used to work with Dave at downtime producing the squirt boats with him, then moved onto Big Dog where I have been involved in the company from the start. I have paddled squirt for about 7 years now and Jason has paddled squirt for over 20 years.

We are always looking to improve the construction of our boats to keep progressing the sport forward. We have sold a lot of squirt boats to Japan, Europe and into the UK. Ben paddled one at the Europeans last year and won a gold medal. All of these with no problems. The white boat that has been brought up that popped the front seam while being paddled in the top wave at hpp, was fixed straight away for free. This was the first squirt boat that had broken after 2 years of production. It was a shame it happened to Richie on his first paddle, but we have strengthen the inside seam and also gone for a slightly larger outside seam than we had been using for future production boats. To my knowledge Richie is very happy with his boat and has no further problems.

We are based in Nottingham so anyone who is interested in trying squirt boating is welcome to try our demo's out at hpp. Maybe if the weather gets warmer I may join them for a quick splash. We are wanting to support the squirt community here in the UK as well as the rest of the world. Dave Savage did a fantastic job supporting the squirt community and I regard him as a close friend. He has recently got married so I believe he just doesn't have to time to Downtime anymore.

We are looking at doing a more complete range of squirt boats but due to the small market at the moment this is not possible. Maybe in the future though, I have a few ideas.... :-)

So if anyone would like to demo please feel free to contact me at Josh@bigdogkayaks.com

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